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Second Afghanistan campaign for Canadian Forces Sperwer CU161 UAVs

Sperwer unmanned aerial system is designed to support Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and reconnaissance at the battlegroup level.
by Staff Writers
Paris (SPX) Apr 26, 2006
Since the beginning of March, the Canadian Forces' Sperwer CU161 UAVs have been used in the Kandahar region for the benefit of Afghanistan's operational forces. The first flights in their operational missions were carried out successfully, with excellent availability.

This is the second time the system has been deployed – it was used successfully in the country in 2003 and 2004 as part of international stabilization operations.

In this new deployment, the Sperwer CU161 UAVs operate daily for reconnaissance, information-gathering and real-time situation-awareness missions.

The Department of National Defense decided to renew its confidence in Sagem Défense Sécurité by notifying Oerlikon Canada (a partner of Sagem Défense Sécurité) early this year of its purchase of additional UAVs and maintenance equipment to reinforce its deployment in Afghanistan.

The Canadian Forces have demonstrated in Afghanistan that the Sperwer CU161 system is capable of being projected in a theater devoid of infrastructure and runways, and under severe conditions (i.e. launched from a high-altitude plateau in extreme heat in Kabul in 2003 and 2004).

Developed by Sagem Défense Sécurité and manufactured in its Montluçon plant, the Sperwer UAVs are remotely controlled aircraft with a 4.2m wingspan, containing high-performance optronics. They are launched by catapult and can fly for several hours, day and night. Operators control the aircraft from a ground control station.

In addition to Canada, the Sperwer system has been acquired following international bidding by five countries: the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, France and Greece.

As the manufacturer of the Sperwer tactical UAVs, Sagem Défense Sécurité brings with it its knowledge of the technologies that make up the UAV systems' core: navigation and flight control, visible and infrared gyrostabilized optronics, data and video transmission, mission information technology and systems integration. Added to this, is its experience in operating such systems.

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